Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual – Uzbekistan

Tomato vendor at a market in the Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan

When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan, most of my food shopping was done at outdoor markets. I really came to appreciate the social interaction and feel of community at these markets where each vendor specializes in selling only one or two types of products. This forces you so interact with so many people just to make a pot of soup. There are the onions and garlic vendor, the spice vendor, the meat butcher or the chicken vendor, and vendors for each kind of vegetable like the one pictured above. As a stranger living in a strange land with few friends and no family, the markets gave me an automatic community to interact with. My market routine became an essential part of my daily life. It was a huge shock when I returned to the United States where I could buy everything I needed at one supermarket and only have to interact with the cashier. A bigger shock was when I used the self check-out and didn’t have to speak to a soul. It literally made me feel soulless and I really missed all the vendors I knew at the outdoor markets of Uzbekistan.

See my other Weekly Photo Challenge sumissions:

Weekly Photo Challenge – Contrast – Uzbekistan

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through – Turkey

To add your own photo to the challenge, visit WordPress Daily Post. Have fun!

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32 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual – Uzbekistan

  1. transplantedtatar
    July 21, 2012

    I grew up in Central Asia, with grocery shopping at the open market almost a daily activity. It’s been more than ten years here, but I do sometimes feel odd and dehumanized at grocery stores. I think the part that I will never get used to completely is how almost NOTHING at the produce isle has an aroma. I bet those tomatoes smelled like summer and could be eaten with absolutely nothing to enhance their taste–like desert almost. Thank you for posting this picture.

  2. ailsapm
    June 1, 2012

    This week’s travel challenge is a tricky one, but I bet you’re up to it! xxx Ailsa http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/06/01/rhythm/

  3. ailsapm
    May 30, 2012

    Wow, that’s a lot of tomatoes, what a wonderful photo! A market with a difference and a lot of soul! xxx

    • Wanderlustress
      May 31, 2012

      Yes, when things are in season in Uzbekistan it just piles up and up and up until the season is over. I loved loved loved my neighborhood market.

  4. Robin
    April 16, 2012

    Ah, that’s an amazing photo. It reminds me of many such scenes that I’ve seen in Africa, Madagascar and Mongolia. People are so poor that they will use whatever they have at their disposal to make a living. And they invariably make for weird and wonderful photos!

    • Wanderlustress
      April 17, 2012

      That’s what’s really fun about travel, seeing all the things you would never expect to see. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Through – Turkey « Wanderlustress

  6. frizztext (@frizztext)
    March 22, 2012

    could they sell all those tomatoes?

    • Wanderlustress
      March 22, 2012

      I believe they do. Every household cans and preserves fruits and vegetables when they are in season so they’ll have them in winter when there is very little fresh food available.

  7. siggiofmaine
    March 19, 2012

    Awesome photo…have never seen anything like this before…Pbut it makes sense.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine, USA

    • Wanderlustress
      March 19, 2012

      Thank you Siggi. What is it they say? “Scarcity is the mother of invention.”

  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast – Uzbekistan « Wanderlustress

  9. Arindam
    March 19, 2012

    Great photograph. This one really made me smile. Great post for this week’s challenge. πŸ™‚

  10. nantuckettiechic
    March 19, 2012

    Say hello to farmer’s markets in the US. We miss ours in the winter when it’s too cold. Getting out and seeing the farmers again is a sure sign of spring.

    • Wanderlustress
      March 19, 2012

      Yes, exactly. We love our farmer’s market here. Too bad it’s only once a week.

  11. The Feists Great Escape
    March 19, 2012

    I know exactly what you mean when you said you felt soulless.

    • Wanderlustress
      March 19, 2012

      I’m so glad you said that. Sometimes traveling can make you feel certain things that friends/family don’t or can’t understand so it’s always nice to meet kindred spirits. Thanks!

  12. Gracie
    March 19, 2012

    Whoa! That’s a lifetime supply of beta carotene!

  13. cobbies69
    March 19, 2012

    I hope she can sell them quickly before they start rotting.. lol;) lovely post

    • Wanderlustress
      March 19, 2012

      Thank you. This was definitely peak season when everyone cans and preserves them for winter when they are not available at all. They also dry the tomatoes for use in winter.

  14. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Unusual « The Urge To Wander

  15. livvy30
    March 19, 2012

    That’s one way of transporting/selling tomatoes!

    • Wanderlustress
      March 19, 2012

      I thought it was pretty creative. I’ve also seen them transport watermelons and honeydew melons this way, too.

  16. mulrickillion
    March 19, 2012

    Good posting, and yes, Uzbekistan is a strange place, and mystery to many. Oh, and by the way, the other day I was so busy writing about Sudan that I forget to simply say: “Congratulations”! πŸ™‚

    • Wanderlustress
      March 19, 2012

      Thank you. We’ve been married almost seven years now. It’s been fun remembering our early years together.

      • mulrickillion
        March 19, 2012

        Seven years! Then maybe I should take it back then πŸ™‚

      • Wanderlustress
        March 19, 2012

        Haha, no. I’m still congratulating myself for marrying the greatest guy in the whole world!

  17. Traveling Saver
    March 18, 2012

    Thanks for sharing. This made me smile!

  18. Little Earthquake
    March 18, 2012

    That’s a lotta V8s…

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